I love to write. But when I sat down the other afternoon to complete some writing on a novel I started a few months ago, and I noticed that I could not focus. Now it is sometimes a little more difficult for me to get started on a project if I have not been “banging away” on it. If I pick something up and work on it for a while, then drop it to do something else – it sometimes takes a great deal of effort to get started again. Like climbing up a long hill.
That was what was going on at that time. I was not into the character nor his circumstance. Plus, it had been a very busy day and I felt like I had two left hands on the keyboard. I needed to fix this or I would not be able to get this story started again. But what to do?
What you might try when you are stuck with your writing.
So, I decided to let my mind wander where it wanted to go (which was anywhere but on the subject I needed it to go to). Soon, I realized I was not comfortable. I was not in my favorite chair. I was not using my favorite writing computer (my old laptop) and I did not have on my music.
Suddenly, I realized that I am a creature of habit. Oh, my….this is a shock. I thought I would be the last person on the globe to be a creature that wanted things to be same old same old. Nothing else in my life was that way, so why was writing?
What was my sweet spot for writing?
I went out to the kitchen, poured myself a glass of fine wine and sat down to give this a thorough thought. What exactly was my most productive way of writing? Always on a computer – my old Sony Laptop. Always on my foldout desk – it is just the right height. And I apparently must use my black office chair. And I create to the tune of a certain type of music.
So how did this happen? I used to be able to write just about anywhere, especially when I did it for an employer. But now, I work for myself and apparently allowed me to become routinized. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? At first, I was not sure, but later decided ‘It is okay, as long as the work gets done.’
Being a writer means that you write. It does not matter if you like to be in your office, living room, kitchen, or back porch. Do you write it down on a tablet first or type it out on an old typewriter? Do you outline it first or do you let the characters take it where they want it to go?
You see, you do not have to adhere to any kind of a standard that must be followed in order to produce the pages. To be a writer means you write – and do so consistently; not just when the mood strikes you, but every day. Writing requires discipline and desire – and a comfortable work area.
Now to make up your mind.
Now, what does this all add up to? Easy. If you have determined you are going to be an author and you want to write consistently, carve out the time that you need, set aside a space where you are most comfortable, get a glass of water, cup of coffee, or as I just did – a glass of wine, and sit down and write. Glue yourself to the stool, chair, sofa, or whatever you have chosen as your seat and write.
Life is distracting enough. We all have interruptions that take us away from our work. But allow yourself the luxury of having a special place that your creativity and imagination launch just about every time you sit down there. I now know that if I am to write the three books I have in the hopper, I have got to do it the way in which I am the most comfortable – or the hidden distractions will keep my mind off the project and on my sore shoulder or stiff neck or, well, you know what I mean.